Kranj remembering Prešeren’s arrival in city 170 years ago

The Gorenjsko Museum wrote on the occasion that Prešeren, who acquired a law degree in Vienna, came to Kranj after the authorities decided to increase the number of lawyers in the Kranjsko province by four and to assign them to towns outside of Ljubljana.

Prešeren got the Kranj post in July 1846. He moved there from Ljubljana in October in lived there until his death, 8 February 1849. The upcoming date is celebrated as Slovenian Culture Day and Prešeren gave the name to the most prestigious award for culture in the country.

Open until 29 February, the exhibition tells the story of Kranj in the 19th century. What is presently Slovenia's fourth largest city with a population of 40,000, was a small town then, roughly ten times smaller than Ljubljana.

It only had around 2,000 inhabitants after it had suffered heavily because of the French wars, a 1811 fire and a cholera epidemic in 1836. Its medieval walls and towers were in ruins and Kranj was losing the appearance it had had for centuries.

The appreciation of Prešeren's genius was limited in that period to his closest friends and he died in poverty.

"But it was enough for the cherished memory of the poet to be preserved. Thus the heritage of France Prešeren and his name became the identity of our city. Our duty is to continue strengthening it," Marja Žibert of the museum said.